Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by USMA2016, Jan 18, 2012.
Are cadets able to use skype on the USMA network and with their computers?
No, but they use a similar program called Oovoo.
but there's a webcam etc. already installed onto the laptop (IOW you don't need a peripheral)?
DS was instructed last year that Skype was not considered "secure" and they were told which system were allowed/not allowed
Programs that have file sharing such as Skype are not allowed. Other video chat systems that do not have file sharing are allowed. For the most part, everyone uses oovoo.
Skype at West Point with internationals and lack of security clearances and they are worried about secureness?
We used Skype overseas in a much more sensitive environment on Afghan networks... >.<
Can't you just file share over email though? Why don't they ban that?
by happenstance ended up chatting with one of the goldcoat staff in a hotel pool, he was telling me that Skype was currently banned as it was considered a peer-to-peer program with a perceived fileshare risk.
Realistically, it's not, and it's widely used in more sensitive installations, and he indicated they are revisiting use guidelines.
As mentioned, there are other options in wide use if you just have to have video conference.
But for many cadets, for voice your desk phone is easiest. You have unlimited LD, etc. So there's not a reason to use skype to avoid Long Distance, etc. Each cadet has their own number/phone, and it will accept inbound calls.
Likewise, depending on your barracks & floor, you may or may not have cell coverage. And you don't have pockets in "As for class" or W/G, nor can you use a cellphone in most places during the week. So for Plebes, the cell is often less useful. (But that will vary with company, your room, etc)
You have to knowingly perform an action to send/receive files via email. Programs like Skype allow this to happen without your permission and could be used to bypass the firewall without your knowledge because you give the program access.
The concern is programs which share drives or directories. And those which easily allow a file to be deposited.
Skype is actually OK now in that regard, but early on it was tainted by perception of being similar to napster/edonkey, etc which shared directories with out being obvious about it.
It's not the cadets sending a file that they are concerned about. It's potential unattended sharing by programs that was the original concern.
All that said, the current risk to places like USMA is attachments in emails embedded with some social engineering. Which even the White House was caught by. When your chain of command (apparently) tells you to open a file, people do it! Once the attachment is opened, virus installed, then all bets are off. So corporations, schools, & agencies are now realizing it's less programs like Skype that are risky.
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